Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Write a Book and Go to Jail in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 29, 2014


China’s war on human rights has accelerated ever since comrade Xi Jinping took over the reins of hell, aka China. He has kicked out American journalists, and jailed those seeking that he clarify how his family got filthy rich. Nor only is ‘rumor mongering’ an act punishable by jail time, but any form if dissent as well. To wit, a Hong Kong’ese guy is allegedly being held on specious charges just because he had written a book about comrade Xi Jinping.

This place is a dictatorial mess.

HONG KONG — Three months ago, Yiu Mantin, a retired engineer from Hong Kong, crossed into mainland China for a short visit, as he had done many times. But this time he disappeared into the hands of the police, and his family and friends believe he was singled out because of his second career — book publishing — and especially because he planned to distribute a withering denunciation of President Xi Jinping.

The police in Shenzhen, the city across the border from Hong Kong, arrested Mr. Yiu on charges of falsely labeling and smuggling seven bottles of industrial chemicals, and they claim that the smuggling dated from 2010 and involved goods worth $220,000, said Mo Shaoping, a prominent Beijing lawyer who recently agreed to represent Mr. Yiu. But Mr. Yiu’s son, Edmond Yiu, said his father’s real offense in the eyes of the authorities was what he published, not what he was accused of taking into China.

After working as a manufacturing engineer for much of his life, Mr. Yiu, 72, began a second career running one of several small publishing companies in Hong Kong that, taking advantage of the territory’s robust protections of free speech, issue books that are anathema to mainland government censors. He planned to issue “Godfather of China Xi Jinping,” by Yu Jie, a Chinese writer living in the United States, his son said.

“I think that the publishing was what triggered this,” the younger Mr. Yiu said in a telephone interview from Minnesota, where he lives. He said he himself was jailed for a year in China for his involvement in the pro-democracy student protests that ended in suppression by the armed forces in June 1989. He said he had decided to speak publicly after efforts to quietly secure his father’s release failed.

“I’m pretty familiar with the Chinese legal system in China and how they produce fake criminal charges against political prisoners,” Mr. Yiu said. “There is no question that they are trying to punish him for his publishing activities through normal criminal charges.”

He said that his father’s frugal lifestyle did not square with the smuggling charges, and that he hoped drawing public attention to the case would help win his father’s release. A Hong Kong newspaper, The South China Morning Post, first reported Yiu Mantin’s arrest.

The case has worried other independent publishers in Hong Kong, who said it could signal intensified efforts by the Communist Party to stifle their work. Since Hong Kong was transferred from British to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, it has remained an outpost of free speech and publishing. Many residents, however, say the Chinese government has increasingly made efforts to shape opinion, and to stymie the flow of banned publications into the mainland.

HONG KONG — Three months ago, Yiu Mantin, a retired engineer from Hong Kong, crossed into mainland China for a short visit, as he had done many times. But this time he disappeared into the hands of the police, and his family and friends believe he was singled out because of his second career — book publishing — and especially because he planned to distribute a withering denunciation of President Xi Jinping.

The police in Shenzhen, the city across the border from Hong Kong, arrested Mr. Yiu on charges of falsely labeling and smuggling seven bottles of industrial chemicals, and they claim that the smuggling dated from 2010 and involved goods worth $220,000, said Mo Shaoping, a prominent Beijing lawyer who recently agreed to represent Mr. Yiu. But Mr. Yiu’s son, Edmond Yiu, said his father’s real offense in the eyes of the authorities was what he published, not what he was accused of taking into China.

After working as a manufacturing engineer for much of his life, Mr. Yiu, 72, began a second career running one of several small publishing companies in Hong Kong that, taking advantage of the territory’s robust protections of free speech, issue books that are anathema to mainland government censors. He planned to issue “Godfather of China Xi Jinping,” by Yu Jie, a Chinese writer living in the United States, his son said.

“I think that the publishing was what triggered this,” the younger Mr. Yiu said in a telephone interview from Minnesota, where he lives. He said he himself was jailed for a year in China for his involvement in the pro-democracy student protests that ended in suppression by the armed forces in June 1989. He said he had decided to speak publicly after efforts to quietly secure his father’s release failed.

“I’m pretty familiar with the Chinese legal system in China and how they produce fake criminal charges against political prisoners,” Mr. Yiu said. “There is no question that they are trying to punish him for his publishing activities through normal criminal charges.”

He said that his father’s frugal lifestyle did not square with the smuggling charges, and that he hoped drawing public attention to the case would help win his father’s release. A Hong Kong newspaper, The South China Morning Post, first reported Yiu Mantin’s arrest.

The case has worried other independent publishers in Hong Kong, who said it could signal intensified efforts by the Communist Party to stifle their work. Since Hong Kong was transferred from British to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, it has remained an outpost of free speech and publishing. Many residents, however, say the Chinese government has increasingly made efforts to shape opinion, and to stymie the flow of banned publications into the mainland.

Link

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/29/world/asia/publisher-of-book-critical-of-chinas-leader-is-arrested.html?_r=0

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